Brezova pod Bradlom, May 5 (TASR) – The Cabinet at one of its next sessions will stipulate how to organise celebrations and commemorations of key state events, Parliamentary Chairman Andrej Danko (Slovak National Party/SNS) said at a memorial of Slovak statesman Milan Rastislav Stefanik in Brezova pod Bradlom on Saturday.
The 99th anniversary of Stefanik’s death was commemorated in Brezova pod Bradlom by Danko, Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD) and Defence Minister Peter Gajdos (SNS).
“He was a charismatic figure. A resolution will be adopted at one of the next Cabinet sessions to specify how to organise such events, in order to commemorate the centenary of Milan
Rastislav Stefanik’s death in a dignified manner,” said Danko.
Pellegrini joined Danko in eulogising Stefanik, stating that he should be held as a model by every Slovak.
“For me personally, his message is that I should work hard in order to see Slovakia doing well and Slovaks preserving their identity. It presents a challenge for me to do everything honestly,” said Pellegrini.
French Ambassador to Slovakia Christophe Leonzi, also present at the commemorative event, told TASR that Stefanik’s fruitful life – exemplary and also tragic – reflects the spirit and fate of his nation in many respects. Nevertheless, he also embodies hope and future for three nations – Slovak, Czech and French, said Leonzi.
“General Stefanik, as a symbol of morality, encourages us to be moral as well, to profess substantial values – so important in the European context of 2018. I mean especially values such as freedom, democracy, removal of conflicts and the need of rejecting excessive nationalism, which always leads to war,” said the French ambassador.
The event in Brezova pod Bradlom was also attended by Russian Ambassador to Slovakia Alexey Fedotov and several MPs.
Widely regarded as one of the most significant personages of Slovakia’s modern history, Stefanik was born in 1880 in Kosariska (Trencin region) and died in a plane crash in Ivanka pri Dunaji near Bratislava in 1919. He was an outstanding astronomer, military pilot, French military general and one of the first Slovaks who several times ascended Mont Blanc. Most notably, he was instrumental in setting up Czechoslovakia in 1918 along with the country’s first president Tomas Garrigue Masaryk and second president Edvard Benes.